catacomber (catacomber) wrote,

Rich Doyle and LSDNA

Rich Doyle eplores the relationship between DNA research and the culture of LSD experimentation. For him, there are core elements of both ventures which can be correlated. He describes the two ostensibly different realms as "ecologies", and says they are "twin or replicated domains where an informatic desire distributes both consciousnes and life into inhuman, inorganic, and extraterrestrial realms."(9)

Doyle highlights self-inclusion and self-experimentation as key elements of both ecologies. LSD experimentatin began with Hoffman and could only be executed by self-inclusion of the experiments. Hoffman noticed that the goats that had ingested the drug were acting strangely, but there were no real physical side effects. It was only by taking the drug himself that anything relevent was determined. the only way the effect of the drug could be described was in terms of difference: difference from the self.

With DNA testing, he weighs a great deal on Kary Mullis' bridging of the two domains with his story behind the invention of PCR (automated DNA replication). Mullis had been tripping on LSD, "getting down there with the molecules", when he the basic functions of the PCR came to him. (22) Doyle seems to identify with Mullis personally realized connection of the two ecologies was one of contingency. (21)

Doyle implicity proposes a universal platform, or protocol. By extension, this protocol extends into a potential description of human experience itself. In the beginning of the article, his "informatic desire" is history not simply of a biologically determined body function, but of something that transcends time and culture.

I hasten to add, these are not statements that Doyle makes explicitly in his text, but they seem to be the direction he is heading.

It reminds me of Bush and Englebart. Both dreamed of moving down in the molecules, if you'll allow a bit of semiotic slippage. If 'molecules' are translated into signs, or even myths, then we have no problem placing Mullis' vision into that of our cybernetic forefathers. What is this postmodern dream of translating oneself into a self-feeding continuum of information processing? Of travelling through spaces of signed data, through landscapes dotted with molecules of mutation? I must admit, there is an exhilarating power-thirst that I personally associate with it. the implications are tempting indeed. At one moment I want to go there, and I am eager to say "Yes, this is what we are," but at the same time, I feel a certain hesitation, wondering what theory lies behind this one and what will become of those that jump head first into the pool of biomediated discourse.

OK, this last pararaph is weird, but I'm going to leave it as it is. It'll probably get weirder as the quarter comes to a close. I am starting to revert to my old poetic fetishes, and somehow this class is making me want to entertain them.
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